Chinese Vital Substances

From Health Facts
Jump to: navigation, search
Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-13 (EDT)

See Also Naturopathic Therapies
See Also Traditional Chinese Medicine / Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the body and mind as a complex network of energy and vital substances interacting with each other. Some of the substances are of a material nature and some are totally non-material. The vital substances are:[1], [2], [3], [4], [5]

  • Qi: is the animating life force. It is considered the essence of life and the origin of all other vital substances: thoughts and emotions, tissue and blood, inner life and outer expression., It is responsible for the generative and protective aspects of life. Qi is an energy which manifests simultaneously on the physical and spiritual level. It is in constant state of flux and in varying degrees of aggregation. When Qi condenses, energy transforms and accumlates inot physical shape
  • Essence: is Chinese Medicine refers to: prenatal essences, postnatal essence, and kidney essence. It is similar to the concept of personal essence in Naturopathic Medicine. Prenatal essence is determined at conception and indicates a person's basic constitution. Postnatal essence is the energy that is received throughout life from food, fluid, and air (breathing). Kidney essence is the accumulation of them both, it forms the foundation for all functions in the body it naturally declines over a person's lifetime.
  • Blood: is a form of Qi and is dervived from the energy of food. Qi is the commander of blood; blood is the mother of Qi. The manin function of the blood is to nourish, maintain, and moisten the body. Blood carries the material foundation for the mind.
  • Body fluids: originate from food and drink and refer to the water in the body. Their function is to lubricate internal organs, joints, muscles, skin, hair, membranes and cavities; and moisten and nourish the brain, marrow and bones. Body fluids can be divided into clear fluids and turbid fluids. Clear fluids are spread thoughout the muscles and membranes to moisten the muscles, skin, and hair, and they moisten the eyes, ears, mouth and nose. Perpsiration and urine are products of clear fluids. Turbid fluids are spread throughout the internal organs to nourish the brain, marrow, and bones and to lubricate the joints. They also nourish the muscles.


  1. Maciocia G (1998) The Foundations of Chinese Medicine. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh.
  2. Beinfield H, Korngold E (1991) Between Heaven and Earth, a Guide to Chinese Medicine. Ballantine, New York.
  3. Lu H (1994) Chinese Natural Cures, Trandtiional Methods for Remedies and Preventions." Black Dog & Leventhal, New York.
  4. Kaptchuk TJ (1983) 'The WEb That Has No Weaver, Understanding Chinese Medicine. Congdon & Weed, Chicago.
  5. Lloyd Iva (2009) The Energetics of Health, a Naturopathic Assessment, Elsevier.